Saturday, 10 April 2010

Fragile by Shiloh Walker

This is the book that spawned Broken. And it is a very twisted read. (And nowhere near as good as the slightly similar Obsession by Sharon Cullen...who needs to publish a new story soon please.)

Surely the heroine Devon was purposefully written as a serial victim. And really I couldn't see why such bad bad things keep happening to her. Even I questioned what was going on with her hallucinating about 'nasty' Luke. I couldn't make sense of it.

But. She also has good stuff happen. Being adopted by the Mannings, loving Luke, steady job, kicking her habit. Despite the description of Devon I thought she was one of those beautiful people who don't actually realise how pretty they are. Readers need to know she is seriously molested by more than one psycho during the course of the story. She is at her weakest when she doesn't know what is happening to her mind...that's when she kicks Luke out. But essentially she is a strong person...although what's the point of being strong when so much rubbish happens to her.

I hadn't a clue what was going on with Quinn or how he happened to show up just in time to save Luke and Devon. That was never really explained. The philosophy of Devon's life is to rely on luck to sort things out. Although she doesn't seem to realise that. It was great to read as the relationship developed between Luke and Devon. There's plenty of hot scenes between the pair of them. The story ends very abruptly...I think what happened was that the novel ended in the bedroom and then someone in the crit group probably whined 'But what about that poor guy Quinn?' and so we got the final scene between the three of them which goes absolutely nowhere.

Geez. Poor Danielle. I bet no follow-up book is written about her. That's what comes of being friends with a serial victim.

When I originally read the review of Fragile on Amazon I did actually reject it because I could guess just what Devon's 'troubled youth' entailed...going by the number of that type of book on the best-seller lists. But I was suckered into buying Fragile by reading Broken and I had forgotten what I read about Fragile.

Although the descriptions of Devon's underage-abuse are thankfully sparse I didn't really enjoy reading about how disrespectfully she was treated by Curtis and Tony. I think I would have preferred it if Devon had been more of a devious fighter...and had managed to prevent at least one of those 3 nasty incidents from taking place..(the one with Curtis preferably because then maybe the completely innocent Danielle might not have been hurt so bad.) She should also have recognised a crap shrink for what she was. She should have told Luke the name of Tim's Dad and what she knew about his background. And. The times Devon felt afraid to go into her own house, that's when she should have rung Luke and suggested they move into his condo. If the nightmares had continued then she could have suspected him. Having said all that I have to ask 'What good was Luke in the story?' Cos all he actually did was ring the cops when Curtis was already dead anyway. And so we come to the important question. Is Devon addicted to being a victim? And is that what drives Luke to her? Many times during the course of the story he admits he's an adrenaline junkie. If Luke had really cared he would have advised Devon to 'Carry A Weapon At All Times.'

Also. I have no idea about what was going on with Quinn, Luke and Tony's Unit. Or why Tony went crazy. Read totally like opsec paranoia to me.

In the final analysis the novel was a bit strong (and indecipherable) for me. In fact I wish I hadn't read it. But many other readers will probably be very impressed with the story.

I first read a book like this from one of my favorite male authors. Now deceased. It was like he came to hate most of the characters he had spent about 10 years creating and fleshing out. And so towards the end of his life he just wrote about bad things happening to them. For me its like watching someone bully helpless people. Not very edifying at all. So in the end, I know exactly who to blame for what kept happening to Devon. Shame On You!

p.s. I know I sound completely crazy. But it's a genuine heartfelt protest.

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